Outdoor string lights make a great addition to any porch, patio, or campsite. Whether you want to string them up bistro style, attach them along deck railing, or take them on-the-go for a campsite light source, the options of where to hang string lights are endless. But before you take the plunge and buy some, you’ll want to know what the best outdoor string lights for you are, and we’re here to help. We’ll discuss everything you need to consider before clicking buy, but here’s a glance at what made our best outdoor string lights list.
- 1 How we test outdoor string lights
- 2 What to Consider When Choosing the Best Outdoor String Lights
- 3 What is the best way to hang outdoor string lights?
- 4 Can you hang outdoor string lights indoors?
- 5 Is it safe to leave outdoor string lights on for days or weeks at a time?
- 6 How long should your string lights be?
- 7 Can string lights be left outdoors?
- 8 How do you hang string lights on a patio?
- 9 What is the best wattage for outdoor string lights?
- 10 How many lumens do I need for outdoor string lights?
- 11 Are outdoor string lights OK in the rain?
- 12 Is 5000 lumens too bright?
- 13 Is 2000 lumens bright enough for outdoor lighting?
- 14 Should I leave outdoor lights on all night?
- 15 How long can you leave outdoor string lights on?
- 16 What should you not do with string lights?
- 17 Do outdoor string lights get hot?
- 18 Should I get LED or incandescent string lights?
- 19 Can you leave string lights out in winter?
- 20 How do I keep bugs off my patio string lights?
- 21 How far apart should outdoor string lights be?
- 22 Do string lights use a lot of electricity?
These lights come in a range of styles, bulb types, and colors. To pinpoint which ones light up the night, we selected a variety of the most popular models, testing them in multiple weather conditions, noting their durability, ease of installation, and whether they were made from quality materials.
Outdoor lighting is a common topic for anyone who does anything outside their home once the sun starts to set. Enter outdoor string lights. These Edison-bulb style lighting options are widely used — not only for general outdoor lighting, but also accent and mood lighting or just for decoration. You’ll find them at your neighbor’s home, but also at restaurants and other public venues. I’ll break down the best and the worst for different use cases here, so let’s get started.
There are two main categories I’m highlighting here: standard AC-powered lights and solar-battery combination units. Most solar options offer less brightness output than their AC powered counterparts. That isn’t all that surprising, but definitely something you should consider if you’re wanting a non-hardwired solution.
In addition, most of these units have standard “white” light output of varying color temperatures (warm versus cold or that “yellowish” light versus the bright white light) but a few offer color-changing options. Overall I can say that these types of patio or outdoor string lights have come a long way since LED integrations have become standard, and there are lots of great options, but there are major differences in the end result of the product, and it’s often tough to tell what that will be until you have it home and turned on. But that’s why you’re here, right? Let’s delay no further.
1.addlon LED Outdoor String Lights 48FT
- UL Listed
- Connect 32 strands
- 48 ft.
- Needs electrical outlet
These plug-in LED string lights have over 12,000 reviews and 4.7/5 stars solidifying their top spot on our list. Commercial weatherproofing is proven durability to withstand wear and tear of all seasons. Though a dimmer switch is not included, the lights are compatible, and with as bright as they are, you might want to consider purchasing one. Plastic bulbs create a shatterproof barrier, which we prefer over glass. These lights are UL Listed, meaning they’ve gone through strict safety and durability testing to ensure their quality. One of our favorite features of the addlon lights is the ability to connect up to 32 strands together. Perfect for large outdoor events like weddings, these lights are budget-friendly and sure to withstand the test of time. The only downside, if there is one, of these lights is that they’re plug in, so you’ll have to have access to an electrical outlet nearby.
2.Brightown Outdoor String Light 100Feet G40 Globe Patio Lights
- Bulb type: Incandescent
- Number of sockets: 100
- String length: 100 feet
- Connectable: No
- Bright, clear lighting; 104 glass bulbs included
- Gutter-clip installation makes the decorating process a cinch
- Four replacement bulbs in case of breakage
- Cord tangles easily
- Cannot connect additional sets
We created a warm and inviting ambience in the backyard with these outdoor string lights from Brightown. The long strand suits an elegant, vintage aesthetic with rounded Edison glass bulbs and a 100-foot length.
This light-string strand is waterproof, energy-saving, and dimmer compatible. With 23 lumens of output and 5 watts of energy use per bulb, these lights made even the darkest hour of the night seem lively. The string light includes 100 G40 incandescent bulbs and four replacement bulbs in case of any accidents. With a 2,700K warm white color, these romantic string lights set the backyard aglow.
They’re effortless to install using the attached gutter clips. Each socket on the string has its own clip, and we hooked them to clotheslines to form an overhead grid pattern. With the grid pattern we selected, we could lounge beneath the lights long after dark and clearly read our magazines. We did not drop these glass bulbs as we did for the shatterproof bulbs in our tests. We plugged them into our dimmer cord and were able to adjust the intensity all the way down to a soft glow. With 100 bulbs spaced just 12 inches apart, these Brightown incandescent string lights are well suited to parties, creating outdoor ambience or even adding a measure of security.
3.Enbrighten Classic LED Cafe Lights
This set has the most attractive bulb of the bunch, in my opinion. The bulbs feel heavier duty than the other options because, rather than being a thin clear plastic shell of a bulb, they’re partially filled in to create a visual with inset air bubbles. This adds to the look and the feel of the light set and immediately made me feel like they were of superior quality when compared to most of the other units.
Enbrighten also ended up with the third brightest light output per bulb, according to our testing. They were initially the most expensive set I picked up, but have since dropped $30 on Amazon, making them a great value for someone looking for great quality.
The Amazon page lists several models, including smart plugs and dimmers. Enbrighten says these lights have a linkable length of up to 750 feet (about 20 strands total) and a warm, soft light output at 2,700K.
4.Brightech Ambience Pro
- No need for electrical outlet
- 2 sizes
- Not connectable
If you’re lacking an outlet or want a totally hands-free outdoor string light, then opt for these solar-powered string lights. Simply leave the charging panel in a sunny spot (though many reviewers list that the lights can still fully charge on a cloudy day) and the LED lights should have enough power to last the entire evening. These lights also come with an on/off switch in case you’d prefer they only be lit during use. Reviewers rave about the amount of bright light they produce, noting that the solar power doesn’t lessen the effectiveness at all. Though these lights don’t appear to be UL Certified or Listed, they are commercialized weatherproof, so they should be durable enough to last outdoors during all seasons. Great for taking on-the-go or if your home doesn’t have any exterior outlets, these solar lights rival their electrical counterparts.
5.Lemontec Commercial Grade Outdoor String Lights
- Bulb type: Incandescent
- Number of sockets: 15
- String length: 48 feet
- Connectable: Yes
- Bright 11-watt bulbs provide ample lighting
- Heavy-duty cord ensures long-lasting durability and usage
- Expandable cord; can be stretched if necessary
- Widely spaced sockets
- Requires hooks for installation
- Glass, so not shatterproof
This weather-resistant set of string lights is made to handle inclement weather. Lemontec’s commercial-grade outdoor string lights kept our driveway lit up—even after a rainstorm. With glass Edison-style bulbs on a black rubber cable, they have a classic look suited to a range of decor styles.
These string lights stood up remarkably well to wet weather with their waterproof and tear-resistant materials for all-season use. Made with insulating layers, they are safe to hang in a variety of climates and temperatures. The bulbs are incandescent and come with crystal-clear glass globes.
The heavy-duty rubber cord is substantial yet flexible enough to wind around narrow railings or tree branches. Lemontec’s 11-watt incandescent bulbs provided bright light that illuminated the garage front and concrete driveway long after it was completely dark.
The only downsides—which depend on perspective—are the widely spaced sockets (3 feet apart) and the fact that hooks are needed for hanging the string lights on a structure as we did. However, they could wind around columns or posts without hooks. While we tested just one strand of these lights, connecting a second string for double the illumination is possible.
6.Magictec LED Shatterproof String Lights Commercial Grade
If you’re truly looking for “value” and not just the cheapest option, I would recommend checking out Magitec. These lights tested as the second brightest bulbs overall, and this particular offering is for a two pack of these light strands. So double the linear coverage at 96 feet versus the next longest single strand at 48 feet.
Magitec sports all the standard options — hanging hooks, IP65 rated water resistant seals, shatterproof, dimmable, LED bulbs. We measured these bulbs with a lumen output of about 165 per bulb. Buying 30 total sockets means you’re getting close to 5,000 lumens total. That is some serious light output.
These bulbs come out to $2.33 a bulb, which puts them in the lower (cheaper) half of the list overall as far as price goes. Now, based solely on the cost per bulb, Feit Electric comes through as cheapest in this category at $1.86 a bulb for this 15-bulb strand. Other than its value, this set isn’t particularly impressive. The light output on this unit is about 40 lumens per bulb for a total output of approximately 600 lumens — the second lowest for our AC powered options. These are also one of the only incandescent options we tested. That means more energy used to run these than the comparable LED options.
7.Govee Smart Outdoor String Lights
- Control through smart phone app
- 48 ft.
- Power adapter is not waterproof
These color-changing lights offer complete customization of your outdoor string lights. Change the color of each individual bulb, dim them, produce unique effects, and even set the lights to blink to your own music all through the use of a smart phone app. That’s right—you can change the colors of each individual light and set custom patterns to match the rhythm of your music for a totally party-ready patio. These lights don’t have UL Listing or Certification, but reviewers were more than impressed by their durability, though it is important to note that the power adapter is not waterproof.
8.Enbrighten Vintage Seasons Café Lights
- Bulb type: LED
- Number of sockets: 24
- String length: 48 feet
- Connectable: Yes
- Solid acrylic LED bulbs provide ample light
- Impact-resistant construction withstands heavy-duty use and weather
- Customizable for different ambiances; dimmable by remote
- Heavy-duty cord withstands abrasions
- Hooks required for hanging are not included
Enhance the mood for any season or holiday with this set of color-changing string lights. The Enbrighten string lights have 16 color choices that create up to 120 possible combinations, adding a pop of color to any outdoor space.
The 48-foot weatherproof strand features 24 Edison-style bulbs. Each impact-resistant acrylic bulb uses only 1 watt of power. The included remote allows users to switch among single solid colors, two-color combinations, and various preset color modes for festivities like Christmas and Saint Patrick’s Day.
The 2,200K warm glow sets a bright, inviting mood when set to the white-light setting. With the handy remote, we were able to set a 2- or 4-hour timer, choose from 10 dimmable light levels, or select fade and strobe features. We hung the Enbrighten string lights around the inside perimeter of a covered porch—each bulb socket required a small hook inserted in the overhead ceiling to hold the lights. The addition of gutter clips would have been helpful.
These are impressive solid acrylic LED bulbs, and because they’re billed as “shatterproof,” we tested that claim by dropping them from head height to the concrete patio below. Not only did none of the acrylic bulbs crack or chip, but we couldn’t even find a scuff mark. For those who want to select specific colors to set a mood, the Enbrighten lights do not disappoint. Since we hung them on a covered patio ceiling, they were somewhat protected by a rainstorm that affected most of the other sets we tested. But they still got dripping wet—yet it didn’t seem to affect them at all.
9.Coleman OneSource Rechargeable Camping Lights
These lights by Coleman, which are aimed at campers, are unlike all the other lights I tested.
To start, they aren’t solar powered, but they do run off a rechargeable 4.8 amp-hour lithium ion battery. Onesource is Coleman’s single battery to charge a host of camping equipment — including the likes of lights, fans and air mattress pumps. One nifty perk is that the batteries include a USB-A charging port for your portable phones and the like.
Instead of hanging downward like the traditional Edison-bulb style options, the light capsules are in-line with the nylon braided power cord, which is outfitted with the occasional plastic hook to hang from. This helps keep the intrusion into your limited tent space to a minimum.
The lights are dimmable, and aren’t super bright, but there’s enough light, especially in an enclosed tent space, to keep you from tripping over every single thing, or person, inside the tent with you. They’d offer some nice ambiance in an outdoor space, but again, not enough light to be super helpful for seeing much out in the open.
10.XTF2015 105ft 300 LED Christmas String Lights
- UL Certified
- 105 ft.
- On the expensive side for fairy lights
High-quality, weather resistant, connectable fairy lights are hard to come by, but these fill the bill. They’re a bit pricier than most other fairy lights, but if you’re looking for miniature string lights that can hold up to the elements in the spring and summer and span your entire patio, then these are it. They cover over 100 ft but are connectable to up to 4 strands if you need more. LED lighting is energy efficient and these lights are UL Certified to show top-quality durability.
11.Twinkle Star 300 LED
- Bulb type: LED
- Number of sockets: 300 (bulbs)
- String length: 99 feet
- Connectable: No
- Control by remote; easy to adjust to suit different ambiances
- Battery operated; can be used anywhere and easy to install
- Creates a uniquely stunning effect unlike other string lights
- Copper wire tangles easily
- Requires six AA batteries
Fairy lights bring an instant warm ambience to a garden or patio space. This 99-foot fairy light strand from Twinkle Star is an excellent pick for decorative accent lighting.
The long strand includes 300 tiny LED bulbs on a copper wire. The copper wiring can be wrapped around trees, bushes, and columns, or strung along walls and ceilings, but we obtained the best effect by concentrating them in a small space.
These are tiny little specks of LED bulbs woven along the surface of a coated copper wire. Some of the other light sets we tested were bright enough to allow reading after dark; this set is not. Its best feature lies in creating a magical effect when the copper string is kept in a compact space. We created a nighttime centerpiece by looping the copper wire inside a glass vase. The result was spectacular—a romantic centerpiece perfect for a memorable outdoor dinner for two.
The Twinkle Star fairy lights are advertised as water-resistant, so we misted the entire coil with water from a spray bottle and let it dry. Then, we turned on the fairy lights again, and they came right on. While the remote has eight lighting options, a couple of the flashing ones are pretty annoying and distracting. The others, which feature slow on/off fading effects and solid illumination, made the Twinkle Star lights the star of our nighttime table.
12.Banord 102FT Dimmable LED Outdoor String Lights
- Bulb type: LED
- Number of sockets: 34
- String length: 102 feet
- Connectable: Yes
- Warm, golden light
- Dimmable bulbs for ample adjusting
- Shatterproof and waterproof for long-lasting use
- Cord comes with replaceable fuse
- No clips for attaching
Measuring 102 feet in length, these dimmable string lights from Banord are well suited to spacious backyards or large events like a wedding or a big barbecue. The heavy-duty strand features 34 S14 Edison-style bulbs, providing an ambient 2,700K warm white light.
The LED plastic bulbs are shatterproof and energy-saving. They’re also dimmable, so users can adjust the lighting level depending on the occasion. Users can connect up to 12 strands if more length is needed to create a striking lighting layout. With a waterproof and weather-resistant design, these sturdy outdoor string lights are suitable for year-round use.
We hung the Banord string lights under a metal arch that frames a pathway between cedar trees. With a hefty 102 feet to work with, the Banord lights spanned the length of the arch three entire times and we still had a few feet left over. At full illumination, the three overhead strings lit up the whole walkway so well, we were able to put lounge chairs out after dark and read our books and magazines with ease. We were also able to dim the lights to a soft golden glow, which created an intimate romantic effect.
The Banord lights, like other Edison-style bulbs we reviewed, don’t come with clips, but they do feature a hole above each socket where users can attach a wire. We cut 4-inch pieces of baling wire and used those to attach each socket to the metal bars of the arch. The Banord lights were left outdoors for a few nights and were unaffected by a rainstorm. We dropped them on the concrete patio to simulate accidental dropping or being tossed about in strong winds, and all the lights survived without a single crack. Although we tested just one strand, users can connect up to 12 strands of light—enough to illuminate a large area.
How we test outdoor string lights
There’s a lot of hands-on evaluation that goes into this product category. One of the main reasons for that is the bulbs themselves. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to use a product’s specs or photos to get a feel for how durable you can expect the bulbs to be. Sometimes you’ll get lucky with a “shatterproof” notation in the description, but not always.
Another bulb aspect to consider is the physical connection. Some of these come preinstalled and you can’t replace them yourself. Some are preinstalled and can be removed. But most bulbs, in my experience, come packaged separately for you to install yourself. Most of the time, that isn’t a problem. But occasionally, since these products all attempt to have a waterproof seal, the bulbs can be difficult to install. A couple of times I found myself gripping and twisting the small bulbs hard enough that I was concerned they might shatter in my hands. None did, but it might be worthwhile to have a pair of gloves on hand if you find yourself in the same situation.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Outdoor String Lights
A simple strand of string lights can transform a plain backyard into an inviting outdoor space. Compared with many other types of outdoor and patio lights, string lights are among the most affordable and easiest to install. When choosing the best string lights for your space, consider the light type, the size and shape, brightness, and color. A weather-resistant design, a lengthy cord, and remote or app control features can make outdoor string lights safer and easier to use.
Most outdoor string lights feature LED, incandescent, solar, or battery-operated bulbs. Each type varies in durability, energy efficiency, and lifespan. When shopping for outdoor string lights, consider which type of lighting is most suitable for the space.
- LED light bulbs use much less electricity (less wattage) than traditional incandescent bulbs and don’t become as hot when they are turned on. Because they are cooler to the touch, there are LED patio lights made with plastic bulbs—meaning they won’t easily shatter if dropped. Many LED bulbs can last up to 50,000 hours, which equals up to 10 years of daily use.
- Incandescent light bulbs are inexpensive and easy to find. These bulbs are less energy efficient and have a much shorter lifespan than LED bulbs, usually lasting around 1,000 hours or up to a year of regular use. They can become hot with use, so glass bulbs are the norm for this type. Their warm color and affordable up-front cost make them a popular pick for outdoor lighting.
- Solar-powered lights don’t add to your energy bill or require an outlet, so they’re useful for apartment patios or houses that don’t have ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets. Simply place the included solar panel in a spot that sees a lot of sunlight during the day, and the bulbs will light up at night. Most solar-powered string lights have a runtime of 6 to 8 hours, which is usually long enough to host a backyard barbecue or a dinner party.
- Battery-operated lights are another option that doesn’t need an outdoor outlet. Instead, these light strands usually run on two to six batteries. Since they don’t require an outlet, they are a versatile choice for creative outdoor lighting.
Since outdoor string lights are exposed to the elements, selecting a set that stands up to rainy conditions and heavy gusts of wind is important. It’s inconvenient to take the string lights down every time there’s inclement weather in the forecast.
First, check the product description to determine if the lights are intended for outdoor use. Using indoor lighting outside creates a potential fire hazard. Second, make sure the product is water resistant (or waterproof—even spots under a porch or gazebo roof can grow damp in bad weather). Weather-resistant lights can handle direct exposure to water and feature watertight seals to protect their interior parts from accumulating moisture and causing safety issues.
Style and Bulb Shape
String light bulbs are available in a variety of styles and shapes, which can give the strands a unique aesthetic. For example, tiny circle fairy lights make an outdoor area feel whimsical, while larger oval-shaped Edison bulbs add a vintage look. Globe bulbs, Edison bulbs, lantern bulbs, fairy lights, and rope lights are among the most popular styles.
- Globe bulbs are typically for decorative purposes. These spherical bulbs come in a range of sizes and are commonly seen in hanging pendants, modern chandeliers, and outdoor string lights. Their classic style is timeless and suits a range of outdoor decor setups, from angular modern seating areas to cozy bohemian patios. Globe bulbs can add a touch of glamour and charm to an outdoor space.
- Edison bulbs are designed to look like Thomas Edison’s original invention. These traditional incandescent bulbs feature a warm, glowing appearance, thanks to their visible internal filaments. The oval-like shape and ambient, warm glow can give an outdoor space a vintage look. Modern LED Edison-style bulbs feature this classic light bulb look but with an energy-saving LED design.
- Lantern bulbs usually feature standard outdoor string lights covered with a lantern made of paper, plastic, nylon, or tarpaulin (a durable and waterproof material that resembles canvas). Lanterns come in different colors, patterns, and shapes. These fun patio light options can help create a themed or festive atmosphere.
- Fairy lights can make a backyard look like a magical escape. The tiny bulbs are usually no larger than a grain of rice and resemble fireflies shimmering on a wire. These are ideal for background lighting, and users can create a pretty effect by draping strands of fairy lights over tree branches, in bushes, or along a fence.
- Rope lights are essentially mini bulbs encased in a transparent cover to protect them from the elements. Often made with LED bulbs, rope lights are great for winding between deck posts, hanging from fences, or illuminating garden spaces.
When choosing a bulb size, consider the available outdoor space, ease of installation, and desired look.
Small bulbs are a good pick for small outdoor spaces; they won’t overpower a space or other outdoor decorations. These bulbs are generally more subtle, providing gentle background lighting. They provide less light and are commonly chosen for decorative purposes.
Large bulbs are more striking and offer a bolder look. Their larger size can provide more direct illumination. They are generally brighter and are well suited for larger spaces that need more lighting. Large decorative bulbs, like globe bulbs and Edison bulbs, can make a style statement.
Keep in mind that bulb size can affect installation. String lights with small bulbs are generally lightweight and easier to maneuver. They may be easier to install than string lights with larger, heavier, and bulkier bulbs.
Most globe outdoor string light bulbs come in one of three bulb sizes:
- G30: The smallest size at 30 millimeters (close to 1.25 inches) in diameter.
- G40: A medium size that’s 40 millimeters (just over 1.5 inches) in diameter.
- G50: The largest size is 50 millimeters (just under 2 inches) in diameter.
Most Edison-style string light bulbs are an S14 bulb size, which is a medium-size, oval-shaped bulb that’s 32 millimeters (just over 1.25 inches) in diameter.
Brightness and Color Temperature
Brightness and color temperature are two of the most important factors to consider when it comes to the appearance of outdoor string lights.
Lumens measure the amount of light output from a bulb—the more lumens, the brighter the bulb. When deciding on bulb brightness, take into account the desired lighting effect. String light bulbs can range from 5 to more than 100 lumens per bulb. Users often choose string lights for their glowy appearance rather than their brightness, so lower lumens often do just fine to set the mood. Lumens are different from wattage, as wattage measures how much power a bulb consumes and not necessarily how bright a light appears.
Lighting color temperature is measured using the Kelvin (K) temperature scale. This scale measures how warm or cool the light appears. Lower numbers on the Kelvin scale look warmer, and higher numbers look cooler.
Most home lighting falls between 2,000K and 6,000K. Bulbs around 2,700K have a cozy, warm white color with a yellow hue, while bulbs over 5,000K offer stark, crisp lighting with a blue hue. Warm lighting makes a space look more cozy and inviting, while cool lighting can often appear harsh, especially at night. For this reason, warmer bulbs are generally preferred for ambient outdoor lighting.
Outdoor string lights typically come in lengths of 10, 25, 35, 50, and 100 feet. Consider the size of the outdoor space and the lighting layout when choosing the ideal wire length.
Patio string lights can outline garden borders, wrap around banisters and trees, or suspend over seating spaces. The best way to determine the necessary wire length is to use a piece of twine to measure where the lights will go. Make sure to include enough length to reach the outlet if it requires corded power, or keep an extension cord handy.
For lining one side of an average balcony or small porch, a 10-foot string of outdoor patio lights may do the trick. A small 6-by-8-foot patio space typically requires 25 to 50 feet of string lighting. A medium 12-by-12-foot outdoor space may need 50 to 100 feet of string lighting, depending on the desired layout. For more spacious areas or to illuminate a large event, more than 100 feet of string lighting is usually necessary.
For those who want to upgrade from basic string lights, consider a product with extra features like color-changing bulbs, dimming options, and remote control or app operation. As we found in our tests, by selecting different bulb colors, we could create entirely different moods.
- Color-changing bulbs: For a fun pop of color, look for patio string lights with color-changing bulbs. These string-light options can set the mood for events, seasons, and holidays.
- Dimming options: Whether for a romantic outdoor dinner or patio drinks with friends, dimming the lights can add to a cozy ambience. Some outdoor string lights include built-in dimmers, while others are dimmer compatible and can be attached to external dimming devices.
- Remote/app controls: A remote control allows for the operation of different lighting settings within a certain vicinity of the lights. App controls add even more convenience—there is no need to store or find an easy-to-lose remote. WiFi-enabled options make it easy to switch lights on and off, even when away from home. Some lights can also integrate with smart-home devices, like Amazon Alexa and Google Home voice assistants.
What is the best way to hang outdoor string lights?
The best way to hang outdoor string lights is by using a light suspension kit. The mistake most people make is using the main power wire to attach as the hanging points. You shouldn’t do that since there will be live voltage flowing through that cable, so instead, this kit offers coated wire to attach to the buildings or trees where you want to hang the lights. The lights themselves have hanging hooks or eyes where you can thread the hanging wire through, taking all the tension off the powered wire.
Can you hang outdoor string lights indoors?
Outdoor string lights can be hung indoors, but the opposite isn’t true. There’s a specific distinction for outdoor string lights because they normally meet the IP65 rating, meaning they’re resistant to water jets at any angle, which is helpful for rain and similar weather conditions. This rating, however, doesn’t mean the lights are waterproof or submergible.
Is it safe to leave outdoor string lights on for days or weeks at a time?
Generally speaking, yes. You can think of outdoor string lights the same as the bulbs you’d use inside your house. Some will be incandescent and some will be LED. The incandescent bulbs will normally run much hotter than LED bulbs. Incandescent bulbs also have a significantly shorter lifespan, so while you can leave them on for weeks at a time, you’ll need to replace the bulbs much sooner.
How long should your string lights be?
In order to answer this question, you need to know where the lights are going and how you’re planning to arrange them.
“Will your lights follow the perimeter of your outdoor area, will they zig-zag over the area, or will you create a starburst pattern with them?” Fox says. “Once you determine how you’d like them to be laid out, then you can measure the length you need.”
We also recommend buying about 20 to 30% more length than you think you’ll actually need, allowing for a little extra give in the string when you go to hang them.
Can string lights be left outdoors?
Yes, some weather-resistant and weatherproof string lights can be left outdoors. Be sure to check their specifications to make sure the lights can handle changing weather and temperature conditions on a year-round basis.
How do you hang string lights on a patio?
The easiest way to hang lights is to use existing fixtures or wrap them around columns and railings that surround a patio. If necessary, create hanging options by using heavy-duty sticky hooks, metal hooks, or nails where needed.
What is the best wattage for outdoor string lights?
High wattage light bulbs are typically 100 watts or more. They produce a lot of light, making them ideal for outdoor areas. However, they also consume more energy than lower wattage bulbs, so they’re not as efficient in terms of energy usage.
How many lumens do I need for outdoor string lights?
Recommended Lumens for Specific Outdoor Needs
Landscape lights: 50-300 lumens. Path lights: 100-200 lumens. Landscape spotlights: 120 lumens. Lamp posts: 120-180 lumens.
Are outdoor string lights OK in the rain?
Outdoor lights can get wet as long as their IP rating is waterproof. To ensure your specific model of string lights can get wet, you need to look at the IP rating of your outdoor lights to check how well protected they are against moisture.
Is 5000 lumens too bright?
The brightness of a flashlight is measured in lumens, and a standard flashlight is about 50-100 lumens. If the lumens value of the flashlight you use at home is 5000, then the brightness of your flashlight is very good, which is equivalent to a 500-watt light bulb.
Is 2000 lumens bright enough for outdoor lighting?
The best range of lumens for outdoor lighting is 12 to 1,300 lumens. How many lumens you need for outdoor landscape lighting is between 50 and 700. The amount of brightness most people want changes based on location.
Should I leave outdoor lights on all night?
Should you leave outdoor lights on at night? No, leaving lights on can make intruders think that you’re not home. Use a motion sensor light that turns on when you, or anyone else, comes near so you have light only when you need it.
How long can you leave outdoor string lights on?
The likelihood of those issues happening is slim. LED light strings have highly reliable build quality and are a resilient technology. You could leave them on 24 hours a day, every day and be fine for years, technically speaking.
What should you not do with string lights?
Never Use Staples, Tacks or Nails to Hang Lights
Staples, tacks and nails can pierce Christmas light strands and create a potential electrical shock. It’s best to use plastic holders designed to hang Christmas lights.
Do outdoor string lights get hot?
If you live in an area with a lot of bad weather, wind, or trees that can damage your lights, consider shatterproof options first. Another safety consideration with outdoor patio lights is heat. Incandescent string light bulbs get hot to the touch within seconds.
Should I get LED or incandescent string lights?
In general, LED Christmas lights use less energy than incandescent Christmas lights, so they are more energy-efficient. This is because they are made with light-emitting diodes instead of filaments so they use next to no heat. The more heat something uses electrically, the more electricity it will use.
Can you leave string lights out in winter?
It really depends upon the kind of string lights you’ve bought. Many festive lights are made using cheap quality material and can be easily damaged by some hail or a strong breeze. However, the best string lights are resistant to water and such harsh surroundings and can be safely left outdoors in winters.
How do I keep bugs off my patio string lights?
LED lights can resist bugs to a certain extent but you’ll have to take extra measures to completely get rid of them! Go for orange lights and try putting a bug zapper nearby. Also, keep cleaner surroundings and remove any still water nearby. This will help avoid the tiny creatures for quite some time.
How far apart should outdoor string lights be?
It depends on your preference. We generally suggest lights that are spaced 3-feet apart. This makes for an ideal focus of color while also paving the path for a safer and smoother circuit flow.
Do string lights use a lot of electricity?
Some string lights can drastically increase your electricity consumption. If you want a more efficient product, opt for the latest LED lights on this list. Their low-maintenance requirements and coherent consumption patterns make for the best outdoor string lights.